Clinical assessment of muscle condition in cats

Laura Rayhel, Jessica Quimby
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Loss of muscle occurs in feline patients as a result of multiple chronic conditions, and muscle atrophy may worsen the prognosis for cats that are living with these diseases. In states of health, a balance exists between cellular processes that build muscle and processes that break it down. Disease states such as kidney disease, cancers, cardiac disease, and metabolic conditions promote chronic systemic inflammation which shifts this balance in favour of muscle breakdown. If noted, muscle loss should prompt a thorough medical investigation including nutritional and clinical history, laboratory work, and imaging studies, as well as the creation of an in-depth nutritional management plan. Veterinary nurses are the first line in recognising muscle loss, identifying historical clues as to its cause, and educating clients about diagnostic and therapeutic plans for associated disease management.

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